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Old 04 July 2018, 20:05   #61
idrougge
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Originally Posted by AnimaInCorpore View Post
Examples please.
Battle Squadron, Xenon 2, Cardiaxx, Lethal Excess, Project X.
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Old 05 July 2018, 20:16   #62
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Originally Posted by idrougge View Post
Battle Squadron, Xenon 2, Cardiaxx, Lethal Excess, Project X.
Xenon 2 has smaller sprites on the Mega Drive?
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Old 06 July 2018, 02:44   #63
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Xenon 2 is not a console shooter, even if it has been ported to consoles.
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Old 06 July 2018, 19:43   #64
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Really looking forward to this game!
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Old 30 July 2018, 19:48   #65
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SkillGrid preview #4

Video preview #4

Finally SkillGrid has some music of its own! It this video you can see - or better, hear - the title screen and game over screen music, which puts together crunchy guitars and C64 sounds.
The music has been encoded in a compression method that has been designed to save more memory and thus make room for more features.
Gameplay-wise, the game hasn't changed much since last time, but still a little change shows up in the video: the horizontal/vertical controls swap cells are now in 2 colors - since they toggle the controls, they are either a bonus or a malus depending on how many times they are caught.

[ Show youtube player ]

Note: for more information, check out the other previews in the same playlist.
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Old 05 August 2018, 15:28   #66
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Finally also the in-game music is ready!

The gameplay idea is that when the Notes Cell is caught, music starts playing and all the cells become bonuses (maluses have no effect anymore and award points, and the Controls Swap Cells always fix controls); then, when music ends, the game returns to normal.

This video shows how it works (although, as usual, YouTube just can't cope with the scrolling layers and thus totally destroyed it):

[ Show youtube player ]
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Old 06 August 2018, 16:00   #67
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Regarding the music, I've been asked if, besides the guitars, I have played also the drums and the bass. Well, the answer is no: I made the music, quite fittingly, the Amiga way, i.e. I used a tracker, namely MilkyTracker (although the game itself doesn't use the tracker module, but uses the alternative solution illustrated in this article on LinkedIn).

[ Show youtube player ]

This is the procedure followed for the Music Mode music:
1. on guitar, I composed the two chords progressions the music is built on;
2. on guitar, I adapted those progressions for the crunchy rhythm guitar and the clean rhythm guitar;
3. in the tracker, I composed a minimal drum loop;
4. while the tracker was playing the drum loop, I played and recorded the crunchy rhythm guitar;
5. in the tracker, I added to the music the guitar track just recorded;
6. in the tracker, I gave the drums some more structure;
7. while the tracker was playing the music, I played and recorded the clean rhythm guitar;
8. in the tracker, I added to the music the guitar track just recorded;
9. in the tracker, I refined the drums further, until they were about 80% done;
10. while the tracker was playing the music, I played and recorded the various solo guitars;
11. in the tracker, I progressively added to the music the solo guitar tracks as I was recording them;
12. in the tracker, I (almost) finished the drums;
13. while the tracker was playing the music, I composed the bassline on the guitar;
14. in the tracker, I programmed the bassline according to what I had just found;
15. while the tracker was playing the music, I composed the C64 sounds fills/melody on the guitar;
16. in the tracker, I programmed the C64 sounds fills/melody according to what I had just found;
17. I recorded my voice counting down from 3 to 1;
18. I added lots of reverb to the voice samples;
19. in the tracker, I added the voice samples at the end of the music;
20. in the tracker, I did the final polish work: I refined the drums, fixed the timings, improved the panning of the instruments, composed the coda, etc.

As the video shows, the music uses 10 tracks, allocated this way:
* tracks 1-3: drumkit;
* track 4: crunchy rhythm guitar;
* track 5: (almost) clean rhythm guitar;
* track 6: solo guitar A (neck single-coil pickup);
* track 7: solo guitar B (brigde humbucker pickup);
* track 8: bass;
* track 9-10: C64 sound and voice samples.

Fun facts:
* I decided to add the spoken countdown because, besides adding a little extra dimension to the music, it warns the player that the Music Mode is about to end;
* making the coda was a pain: the rest of the music had already reached almost 30 seconds, and that was a limit I couldn't go much beyond due to memory constraints (see the article on LinkedIn); eventually I came up with something decent that keeps the music slightly below 31 seconds.
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Old 05 September 2018, 13:55   #68
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SkillGrid development was suspended for a few weeks due to another project (a book not related to computers), but then it resumed with these changes:
* added spaceship tilting when it moves sideways;
* improved music;
* saved some RAM by replacing general-purpose routines with game-specific ones;
* drawn boss;
* made the game run from (2) floppies;
* written manual;
* written installer;
* drawn icons.

There is enough RAM left to add bossfights, more UFO types, and dynamic generation of the scrolling middle layer (and possibly improving the quality of some sound samples). The biggest issue will be stuffing everything into the 2 floppies (at the moment there are less than 110 kB free).
By the way, of all the icons shown in the picture, only the ones surrounded by squares, which are in the old 4-color format, will be used, precisely to use as little floppy disk space as possible.

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Old 10 September 2018, 16:43   #69
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The dynamic tile-based generation of the middle layer is done. Besides looking cool, it saved about 30 kB of floppy disk space at little CPU cost.
The picture shows various experiments and the final choice (the blue-purple gases/clouds).

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Old 10 September 2018, 17:01   #70
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Good stuff! I didnt even realise the name had changed!
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Old 10 September 2018, 18:01   #71
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Good stuff! I didnt even realise the name had changed!
That's a good point, neither did I as I can't see the latest images via my work's internet.

Updated the thread title accordingly
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Old 10 September 2018, 18:18   #72
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Thanks guys. Back then I updated the title of the first post, but the thread title stayed the same.
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Old 10 September 2018, 18:50   #73
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...unfortunately only GMs (and Mods under their own section) can update thread titles etc.
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Old 12 September 2018, 18:45   #74
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@DamienD

No problem, and thanks again for getting it fixed.


@all

Video preview #6

[ Show youtube player ]

This video demonstrates these new features:
* procedural generation of bottom and middle layers;
* new bottom and middle layers graphics;
* spaceship tilting;
* touched up music.
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